SALTIRE: ANNIHILATION (PART 2)

PrintE-mail Written by Andrew Marshall

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: SALTIRE: ANNIHILATION (PART 2) / AUTHOR: JOHN FERGUSON / ARTIST: CLAIRE ROE, LAUREN KNIGHT / PUBLISHER: DIAMONDSTEEL COMICS / RELEASE DATE: APRIL 11TH

The rampage of the Ban Sith and the vampiric plague she unleashed upon Scotland was only the first wave of the Mercyan’s campaign of destruction. Now the forces of the Saxon warlord stand at the foothills of the Borders, ready to march across the land and lay waste to all that lies before them.

Superheroes need to be super; that’s obvious. But they also need to be fallible. If they’re just some invincible set of powers then any threat can be defeated with little effort, which runs the risk of them becoming boring as any tension is removed from their exploits. Up until now, Saltire has seemed to be a quite literal force of nature, his swords cutting an unrelenting swathe through his enemies will little resistance. However, at the end of part one of Annihilation we were introduced to his kryptonite: alcohol, and that this should be the defined weakness of a Scottish hero could spark quite a debate. Although, now this weakness has been identified it would seem to have a simple solution of keepin’ ‘im aff the bevvy, so it’ll be intriguing to see precisely how it can be used against him in future.

As the Saxon army advances from the south, the big blue ginger one has been left in a drunken coma, leaving the Guardians to face the army without the nation’s immortal protector. While infused with the power of ancient magic, most of the Guardians are still human, and when facing an entire army single-mindedly geared towards utter ruination the odds seem to be stacked too highly against them. As one by one they begin to fall under the crushing tide of the relentless onslaught and the survivors are driven further and further north, despair begins to set in, not only for precisely how victory over the oppressors will be attained, but also if it even can be.

Even after Saltire is awoken from his stupor, the tide isn’t necessarily turned, as the Mercyan’s dark witch minion Ester summons Tuisto, the deific Germanic allfather, and what follows is far from a simple retread of Saltire’s duel with Mars Ultor that climaxed the battle of Invasion. Even the greatest fighters in world inevitably have their skills blunted by the effects of booze, and with Saltire hungover and lethargic, and Tuisto born of the earth and manifesting as a 200-foot stone colossus, it takes more than just physical might to put down the enemy once and for all.

From their inception, the Saltire comics were intended to utilise Scotland’s extensive mythological history that exists largely untapped in fiction. In keeping with this, the fantastical nature of the dialogue maintains the feeling that the comic series could be a retelling of an ancient saga, a Scottish equivalent of epic poems such as The Nibelungenlied, Beowulf or The Odyssey. The story itself is pretty straightforward, but the depth of its themes raises it above a simple action comic, incorporating notions of honour, self-sacrifice, standing for ideals greater than yourself, and the nobility in laying down your life in the defence of others. While no less grim and shadowed, the artwork doesn’t have quite as much gleeful bloodlust as part one, and although there isn’t the same level of wanton carnage propelling the story, the action is augmented with a satisfying volume of fire and explosions that create wonderfully dramatic backdrops for striking menacing and heroic poses against.

The story ends on a two-panel stinger that acts as a set up for the next book and an antagonist’s possible return, the location of which also gives a big clue as to the next foe that Saltire and the Guardians will face.
 

SHARE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW OR ON TWITTER @STARBURST_MAG

Find your local STARBURST stockist HERE, or buy direct from us HERE. For our digital edition (available to read on your iOS, Android, Amazon, Windows 8, Samsung and/or Huawei device - all for just £1.99), visit MAGZTER DIGITAL NEWSSTAND.

CLICK TO BUY!

MORE FROM AROUND THE WEB:



Suggested Articles:
2000AD has always had an interesting approach to comedy. The world famous anthology comic rarely rea
Showtime is the story of a magician told by a journalist and relayed by a rodent. Not only is the co
Back in 1986 Frank Miller changed the landscape of the comics industry with the release of the semin
Over a year in the making, the fourth, final and double-length issue of the simply yet magnificently
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Comic Book Reviews

SURVIVAL GEEKS 12 September 2017

SHOWTIME 12 September 2017

BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT: THE MASTER RACE 31 August 2017

VIETNAM ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST #4 30 August 2017

GRIFF GRISTLE: THE SIREN’S SONG 28 August 2017

WONDER WOMAN VOL. 3: THE TRUTH 23 August 2017

THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T REMEMBER #1 17 August 2017

SALTIRE: LEGEND ETERNAL #2 01 August 2017

ALEX AUTOMATIC #1 30 July 2017

BUST #3: A SACKCLOTH SMILE 30 July 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner